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Inspiring belief in a better tomorrow. Equipping kids with the tools to build it.

Take your children education in your own hands

Lessons learned from our Hacker Mom, Ingrid.

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Ingrid organized this Kids hachathon in Paris on the 27th of November and these are the insights she shares after this experience. 

Who are you and what is your resume ?

After very classic studies (economic- social baccalauréat, preparation classes, econometric master), because of Life and because I am an autodidact, I became a graphic conceptor in the “Print”. Successively, I used to work as a freelance, for 9 years in my own company, then in an advertising company, after as freelance again and finally in a big distance retailer for 5 years where I worked in Direct Marketing for 16 countries.

After I decided to get more knowledge and, by my own, I discovered for the world wide web. I resumed my studies in IESA Multimedia and I truly got interested in the conceptual aspect of this medium through the ergonomic of user experience and Design Thinking. I am right now UX designer in a start up and I love my job.

How did get you interested in the design of Kids workshops ?

I am a 6 1/2 years old mom, and because of my love for the new technologies, I quickly looked forward to share and to transfer this passion to my little “experiment subjects”! 

Few years ago and after preparing the Schoolteachers examination, I began to be interested into parallel teachings and into trainings through experimentations. I am in favor of the “Learning by doing” and, of autodidact behaviors, which are very present in work areas. After few months of research and deepening with the said training (STEAM, STEM, Montessori…) and because of the meetings (particularly with HacKIDemia where I am actively participating), I wanted to generalize a daily practice with my son for collaborative workshops!

 

How did you convinced your son to participate in your project ?

We are a very « Design thinking » family ! We do chemical or electrical experiments, we build objects, we paint, we create and for example with parallel training like superimposing pictures drawn on layers before introducing him to Photoshop (he was 5). Now we work on scratch and we check on computers to get answers to all his questions.

We make videos where we explain our experiments because sharing is very important. I want him to transfer his knowledge without any “agenda”, that he explains himself… that he become the “actor” of his own training.

 

What did you observed from such experiments?

L'électricité c'est magique !

What I can see is that we have to enhance curiosity and cooperation. When I was 7, my father gave me a soldering iron, at 9 I was beginning to play with an Atari, I always hacked, tinkered, built, debugged …. And as a result, it made me curious and it pushed me to keep learning all the time, to be autonomous but also to cooperate. It is easier to do this in a group which is why I like to do this together with other parents.

It is even an another way to learn about training and today the new technologies are often criticized, and if we can make our children pro-active instead of prohibiting the new technologies, then we would have won!

How do you think that the parents should be involved in this kind of project ?

I don’t think that our children should be prohibited to take the train toward the future ! Practices and experimentations should help them to master those new technologies, the information and the conception… For them to become their own policy makers, innovators, and inventors of their own future !

To do that, curiosity, passion and experimentation, even when there is failure, should be taught at the earlier age. The culture of failure should be rewritten, mistakes are part of the life, to learn to repair its mistakes, to debug, to hack, to create… leads to little heads who will be independent and creative !

Let’s teach them to repair, invent and fail…. Through experiments, tests, an active behavior! It’s fundamental for the self confidence because we feel like able to take all the challenges!

 

 How do you expect this trend to evolve ?

 

There is no creativity without limit! And we live in more and more constraints: poverty, too fast developing technologies, sicknesses…. We are the very moment where we need to face to presents issues by creating and answering through innovation!

All those steps for our kids are aimed to give them tools and concepts for them to become the decisions makers of tomorrow !

Let’s teach them that creativity, empathy, passion, will to learn and the cooperation are the solutions to our present issues and that they can really be their own masters of their future!

One of my favorite quote was written by Mark TWAIN; “They did not know it was impossible so they did it”

How do you plan to maintain this action in Paris ?

HacKIDemia is a global organization which is working in 25 countries and which is raising funds thanks to the great amount of work of its founders and of its volunteers who both are incredibly involved to push toward an evolution in countries where the social cultural contexts are sometimes extremely disadvantaged.  They just built a project in Africa, Afrimakers (which by the way, I really encourage you to discover, to support and to share) where they will extend this effort in local places to promote the share, the transfer and cooperation between countries.

In France even if a lot has to be done, the approach is different, the idea to encourage the creation and innovation through arts, sciences and new technologies for children and also to show engineering, sciences and technologies are not the monopoly of little children. I really want to wake little girls to those values which will train the real actors of tomorrow.

From January 2014, my association will develop its own workshops to promote creation and innovation through experimentation and manually practices to tinies into schools.

My exchanges and cooperation with HacKIDemia

Hackidemia and my association are working closely with HacKIDemia because HacKIDeimia actions are unrivalled. We both share strong values which stay the key to a lot of issues. And the Makers’ community is a huge family J !

The more we are, the better we do by learning to adapt ourselves.